Product Review (December 2003) - Accell Corporation
Affordable Audio and Home Theater Cables

While consumers spend a vast amount of time and money looking for the ideal A/V components, few pay much attention to evaluating cables for their system. Many of the larger A/V chains push Monster Cable and as a result they have become the de facto standard for quality interconnects. They offer their customers great cables, but often times at a hefty price. In fact, many consumers become shocked that they have spent so much on cables they really didn't intend to buy. We've always felt that the cable market needed some real competition to bring down the price and raise the quality of interconnects.

A company called Accell Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Bizlink Technology and a leading supplier of cable products, recently unveiled an extensive line of high-quality connectivity products that not only target the audio and home theater market, but computers users as well. Located in the heart of Silicon Valley, Accell Corporation produces cables that are made of high quality materials with advanced construction, and as a result provide exceptional performance and value. Accell Corporation has recently announced its UltraAudio™ and UltraVideo™ series of products for use in audio and video applications. The new Ultra series preserves signal integrity while providing the quality, durability and sleek design necessary for today's audio and home theater installations.

We had the opportunity to tests several of their new cable products in our A/V system. Audio cables included their two-channel analog cables and subwoofer cable. Video cables included composite, s-video, component, DVI (single link) and F-cables. One observation that can be made with the cables we received was the impressive build quality given the price. There are many manufacturers making fancy looking cables, yet most of the "inexpensive brands" have substandard quality control, which can result in poor connections.


UltraAudio™
UltraAudio™ products includes Analog Audio cables, Subwoofer cables, Digital Audio coaxial cables, Fiber Optical Toslink cables and Oxygen Free Copper (OFC) Speaker cables terminated with gold-plated pin connectors. The speaker cable is also available in bulk spools for custom lengths.

Analog Audio Cables
The UltraAudio™ Analog cables feature 100% Mylar foil shielding to help minimize electromagnetic (EM) and radio-frequency interference (RFI). The 24K gold-plated contacts insure good conductivity along with a split tip center pin that increases contact pressure. The design of the analog audio cable utilizes balanced, dual copper conductors to transfer the signal more efficiently than conventional audio cables. This design results in low signal loss and a transparent sound quality. The UltraFlex™ jacket not only protects the wires, but also simplifies routing and installation. Shield termination is unidirectional, so there are arrows provided on the cable to aid in the installation. There are also O-ring seals on each backshell to help prevent moisture and dust from getting into the assembly. The cable is available in lengths of 1m, 1.5m, 2m and 4m.

Subwoofer Cables
The UltraAudio™ Subwoofer cable has the same quality construction found in the two-channel version. Dual balanced conductors carry the signal though the cable for maximum dynamic range with braided copper and 100% foil shielding to minimize interference. This subwoofer cable is also a unidirectional design. Since subwoofer cables can typically be long (20+ feet), the importance of good shielding and low-loss is vital to preserving signal integrity. Both the connectors and split center pins are 24K gold-plated to minimize contact resistance. The cable is available in lengths of 6ft, 12ft, 18ft and 24ft.


UltraVideo™
UltraVideo products consist of Composite, S-Video, Component and F-Pin cables. They feature 24K gold-plated connectors and contacts, high purity copper conductors, UltraFlex™ high quality jackets, precision shielding and gas injected low-loss dielectrics. In addition, Accell is announcing its Gold and Premium Series Digital Visual Interface (DVI) cables (Single and Dual Links) for use with HDTV's, digital flat panel displays, projectors and other DVI enabled display devices.

Composite Cable
The UltraVideo composite cable has a unique construction with a specially wound, high purity copper conductor, which is said to improve the signal transfer. While on the surface nothing appears simpler than a composite cable, the reality is composite cables must not only carry luminance information, but modulated chroma signals as well. Composite signals can easily be degraded due to incorrect line impedance and poor shielding. The design of the UltraVideo Composite Cable was impressive with six fingers that grab the RCA jack and a split center conductor to increase contact pressure, all ensuring a positive connection. The Accell Composite Video cable uses 24K gold plated RCA connectors with high purity copper conductors with a nitrogen-injected dielectric. The cable is double shielded to help reduce interference. The overall construction of this cable give the user confidence that the connection is solid for years to come or at least until a new piece of gear is installed. We connected our DVD player for test purposes as found the video to be quite good for a composite connection. However, composite signals should never be used for high quality video applications. There are times when the user has no choice. The cable is available in lengths of 1m, 1.5m, 2m and 4m.

S-Video Cables
The Accell UltraVideo™ S-video cable is very well made offering customers a real value for their video investment. The back-shells are sturdy and easy to grab, built much like the ones found on the RCA connectors. The cable design uses a specially wound, high-purity copper conductor that is said to transfer the video signal more efficiently than ordinary video cables. Connectors and pins are 24K gold-plated to ensure long-term reliability. This cable also uses the UltraFlex™ jacket. Performance was excellent and it was nice to see a quality built product. S-video connectors are an unfortunate part of consumer electronics, but thanks to Accell it looks like you will no longer have to put up with the cheap s-video cables that come with so many products. The cable is available in lengths of 1m, 1.5m, 2m and 4m.

Component Cable
We tested out a set of right angled component video cables with our Kenwood Sovereign DV-5900M 400-disc DVD changer. This cable has straight connectors on one side and right-angled connectors on the other side. The right angle design works well with products that leave little space in the rear of the unit. The DV-5900M is very large and deep, making it difficult to place it inside of any conventional cabinet. Even with almost two feet of cabinet depth, standard cables connected to the back of this unit create a problem. The Accell Component Video cables with 24K gold plated RCA connectors allowed us to interface to the DVD changer with a solid connection in a tight space. Each connector is color coded and labeled with Y, CB(Pb) and CR(Pr). The cable design uses high purity copper conductors with a nitrogen injected dielectric. The cable is double shielded to help reduce interference. The cable is available in lengths of 1m, 1.5m, 2m and 4m.

DVI Cables
The new UltraVideo™ Gold Series Digital Visual Interface (DVI) cables support bandwidths up to 4.95 Gbps for ultra-high resolution displays. The construction of these new cables includes 24K gold-plated connectors and contacts for long term reliability. The design uses an ultra-low loss gas-injected dielectric to maximize signal transfer. The cable is fully DDWG (Digital Display Working Group) compliant which ensure compatibility with your DVI components. We tested the 6-foot DVI Gold Series DVI-D Single-Link cable using a Mitsubishi HD-5000 A/V controller and a Mitsubishi PD-5010 plasma display. The construction of the cable and housing was great with a solid feel when interfacing to the components. The cable is available in lengths of 6ft, 10ft and 15ft.

F-pin Coax Cables
The UltraVideo™ F-pin coax cables are refreshing to see after using the conventional "Cable-TV" style interconnects found in almost every system. The F-pin connector design uses an easy-grip housing making it easy to mate and de-mate to the video component. Also worth mentioning is the gold-plated center pin and connector. That's right, the center pin is not the cable center stripped back, but rather a real dedicated gold-plated pin. This helps prevent oxidation from forming on the center lead often found on regular f-pin cables. In addition, the cable utilizes a high-purity copper conductor for maximum signal transfer. A dual metal shield used to minimize interference is wrapped around an enhanced gas-injected dielectric. This is all contained in an UltraFlex™ jacket for protection. Silicone O-rings seal the back-shell to prevent contamination from entering the housing. The cable is available in lengths of 1m, 1.5m, 2m and 4m.

Firewire (IEEE1394) Cable
While Firewire is widely used with today's computers, many camcorders and home theater product are also supporting the interface. Accell's new Firewire cable design is fully compliant with the IEEE1394 specification and includes quad shielding over two twisted pairs of wire all contained in a heavy-duty translucent jacket. The cable also includes a ferrite core to suppress high frequency noise. The gold plated pins ensure low contact resistance. We connected the cable between our JVC HM-DH30000U D-VHS VCR and our HTPC (Home Theater PC). High definition digital video looked excellent with this cable with no dropouts or link problems. The cable construction was much better than those you typically find on the shelves at your local computer store. The cable is available in lengths of 3ft, 6ft and 14ft.

Conclusion
If you're like me, you have more cables in your system than you would like to talk about. The unfortunate part about setting up a home theater is the vast number of cables one needs to complete the system. The last thing you need is a cheap cable that gives you intermittent connections that can degrade performance. However, the cost of populating the rear panel of your A/V processor or receiver soon becomes painful to your pocket book. It's not uncommon to spend hundreds of dollars on relatively inexpensive cables for your system. Higher-end cables break the bank. There needs to be a balance between quality and cost with today's home theater systems and it looks like Accell may have just solved the problem. Personally, I found these cables to be wonderful for most serious consumers by offering great performance, excellent build quality at a price most can afford. So far, the Accell cables have proven to be a tremendous value in my opinion.

- Kevin Nakano


Review System

Projector: Marantz VP-12S2 High-Definition DLP™ Projector
Screen:
Stewart Filmscreen 100" Luxus Deluxe FireHawk Screenwall
Display:Mitsubishi - PD-5010 50" High-Definition Plasma Display
Preamplifier/Processor: Parasound AVC-2500U THX-Ultra DTS/DD Preamp/Processor
Amplification: Parasound HCA-2205AT THX-Ultra Five Channel Amplifier
Bass Management: Miller & Kreisel BMC Mini 5.1 Bass Management Controller
Front Speakers: Miller & Kreisel S-150THX (L+R) and S-150AC (Center) Speakers
Rear Speakers: Miller & Kreisel SS-250 TripoleŽ Surround Speakers
Subwoofer: Two Miller & Kreisel MX-350THX MkII THX-Ultra Push-pull Subwoofers
Room Treatments: Echo Buster panels and Bass Buster towers
Set-top Box: Mitsubishi HD-5000 Receiver
D-VHS VCR #1: JVC HM-DH30000U D-VHS High-Definition D-Theater VCR
D-VHS VCR #2: Mitsubishi HS-HD2000U D-VHS High-Definition VCR
DVD/CD/SACD Player: Sony DVP-NS900V DVD/CD/SACD Player
DVD Audio/Video Player: Kenwood Sovereign DV-5900M 400-Disc DVD Changer
Laserdisc Player: Pioneer CLD-D704 CD/VCD/LD Player
A/V Cables: Ultralink Platinum and Advanced Performance Series Cables
DVI Cable #1: Monster Cable M Series M500DVI DVI-D Cable
DVI Cable #2: Accell Corporation Gold Series DVI-D Cable
Video Generator: Sencore VP300 SDTV/HDTV Video Pattern Generator
Video Signal Analyzer: Sencore VSA794 NTSC Video Signal Analyzer
Color Analyzer #1: Sencore CP5000 Multi-Display Color Analyzer

Color Analyzer #2: GretageMacbeth Eye-One Pro with Milori ColorFacts Software


Review - At a Glance

Accell - UltraAudio™ and UltraVideo™ Series Cables

Cable Prices:
UltraAudio™ Analog Audio Cable (2M)

$29.99

UltraAudio™ Subwoofer Cable (12ft)

$34.99

UltraAudio™ Fiber Optic Digital Audio Cable (1M)

$49.99

UltraVideo™ Composite Cable (2M)

$24.99

UltraVideo™ S-Video Cable (2M)

$29.99

UltraVideo™ Component Cable Angled (2M) $59.99
UltraVideo™ DVI Single-Link Gold (6ft) $39.99
Firewire/1394 Gold 4pin/4pin (6ft) $24.99

Several other cables are available from Accell.
Check the website for more information.


Company Information
Accell Corporation
44951 Industrial Drive
Fremont, California 94538
Tel: 510-438-9288
Fax: 510-438-6775
Support: 510-438-9288

Source: Manufacture supplied

Warranty: LIMITED LIFETIME

URL: www.accellcorp.com
Support: support@accellcorp.com

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